Surprise

With a population of about 91,000, Surprise is bordered by one of Arizona’s largest mountain preserves, and is situated in the stunning desert, adorned with mighty saguaros. Surprise was little more than a gas station and a small cluster of houses in 1937, when founder Homer C. Ludden subdivided the rural land parcel into low-cost homes for the area’s agricultural workers. He named it after his Nebraska hometown.

Brimming with small-town friendliness, this quaint, one-square-mile farming community has grown into a booming city that is perhaps best known as the Major League Baseball Spring Training home of the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers. Additionally, with more than a half-dozen golf courses, golfers will find a pleasing variety in their own backyards.

One of the fastest growing communities in the country, Surprise is on a path to grow to a population of more than a half-million, extraordinary, when you think that 25 years ago, it had fewer than 4,000 residents. In 2006, the population crossed the 100,000 mark. The median age of residents in Surprise is 46.1 years. Median income is about $65,000.

Opportunities for commercial, office, and industrial development are virtually unlimited in Surprise, with 10 new business parks and 12 retail centers either permitted or planned. As of April, the median sale price for a home in Surprise is $190,000.

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